Introduction Every successful entrepreneur worth his salt or her salt, knows that being unique at all times. This Art of being unique is something that comes naturally to them. They always stand out in a crowd. Based on different observations and documented evidence, this article tries to focus on the five different secrets of successful entrepreneurs. The five success secrets are a) A Very Sharp Focus on the customer b) Constant feedback from the ground and action thereafter c) Never talking ill of any competitor d) Always innovating at any stage of the business and e) Seeking to become game changers in particular markets.
A Very Sharp Focus on the Customer The youth of the country, across the nation, belong to the fast food generations. They want immediate gratification. It is futile to even talk about culture and advise them on matters related to careers, grooming, having friends and being on social media. The more intelligent of these stay away from strangers and use social media for constructive business purposes. Every entrepreneur knows this. However, the genius called A.R. Rahman was streets ahead of everyone in the industry. He was quick to understand the need for fusion music that would synchronize very well with the aspirations of even children less than ten years old. His background music for the super-duper hit, called " Anjali" which fabulously showcased the agony of a two year old handicapped and sick child with a serious ailment, along with the scintillating acting of the child's father by the late Raghuvaran and mother by Revathi, and direction by the master craftsman called Manirathinam was one big game changer. The songs went on to break all records. Yet, the songs were fast-paced and in tune with the dancing capabilities of a new generation. Today, in every wedding reception, one can see young people dancing to the tunes of so many hit songs of A.R. Rahman in all languages, including Hindi. The one hundred percent meaningful songs that resonated with the story of the movie are all but gone today. The mass movement towards fast-paced songs that have western music intelligently merged with Indian music, particularly Hindustani or Carnatic music, is total.
Such sharp focus has defined the success of Havels, Amurtanjan, Emami, and Parachute coconut oil brands in recent times. Each of these products is based on customer needs, very sharply defined and understood. For instance, the herbal variant of Parachute has been a great success. It is also important to note what happens elsewhere too. There are too many deemed Universities. Yet, only those who score very high innovation in terms of placement are only very successful. The SRM University, the VIT University, Amity University, the Manipal University and Symbiosis University, among a few others of the same tribe are able to attract students from even the remote parts of India. The choice of electives and the methodology of teaching are very unique. The learning process is far better in these institutions and the students are able to cope with the exact demands of the industry. This gives the extra to each student and this is exactly what the parents want too. They invest at least three hundred thousand rupees on the education of their son or daughter and it is but essential that they get an adequate return on their investment in terms of a good job. This is exactly what these Universities assure the parents as well. The founder of SRM University has even entered the new Capital of Andhra Pradesh at Amaravathi and has been able to attract the best of Faculty Members. Only entrepreneurs of this kind can accurately understand the exact requirements of each customer.
Constant feedback from the ground and action thereafter There are entrepreneurs who actually meet end customers. They directly go the field to get feedback from actual users. For example, the Chaitanya group of Coaching institutes is so famous for the very high percentage of passes in all the competitive examinations like NEET, JEE and so on. The action in terms of actually understanding what is the specific requirement of each student is done by the Faculty Members. This feedback is shared with the Management and appropriate action is reportedly taken. Similarly, at the KPN bus service that is the largest such service in India, customer complaints are taken very seriously. The training of executives in all aspects of customer service is reportedly done on the basis of such feedback. Entrepreneurs who directly interact with customers can be very frequently seen in each of the big retail showrooms of Chennai. The most famous one is Pothys. At this outlet, the customer is given an exchange of sari or any other readymade item, even if there is a single defect of the smallest kind. Somewhat similar is the action taken in the case of Kumaran Silks, The Nalli group and so on. This is the kind of direct interaction with the customers that helps in the massive improvements that they make in terms of sales and catering to such a huge mass of customers on an everyday basis.
Never talking ill of any competitor The big names in the real estate market do not talk ill of any of their competitors. Each major player of South India like the Shriram group, the Shoba group and so on have their own unique offering and they always advertise only their unique selling propositions. In the service industry, like the small department stores in the small towns, the entrepreneurs share a number of unique learning experiences and this helps in catering to different customers. For instance, in the smaller towns, the entrepreneurs do not stock the branded product called ID. This is nothing but the ready-made batter that can be stored in a refrigerator and made into Iddli or Dosa, the two famous national dishes now. It is already a super-duper hit in many metro cities since there are too many young couples where the wife just does not have the time to make such a dough at home. In the much smaller towns, ID has no takers. The price is quite high. However, they tend to encourage local branded products that are not very good, but just enough in terms of quality to satisfy lazy housewives who need time to watch the horrible TV serials in various languages. The local brand can be found in the smaller departmental stores in smaller towns. This is the information shared between entrepreneurs who actually help each other and grow together. This author has observed this in practice, across two towns, separated by a distance of thirty kilometers.
Innovating at every stage of the business It is not only the big names that keep on innovating in terms of improving their businesses. There are small entrepreneurs too. They are present across businesses. The exact chemistry of doing this will obviously vary from case to case. This author experienced this at a showroom selling spectacles. The entrepreneur would praise the customer commenting that three types of spectacles would suit him or her. The female salesperson will join the chorus in case the customer is female. This will immediately bowl the customer. The three types shown would indeed suit the customer, who would walk out with a firm order. The spectacle would be delivered at home even if it is a power glass, needing the prescription of the eye specialist. For outstation orders, the courier service is free. After the product reaches the customer, a phone call is made to check if the customer is happy with the product. The suggestion is immediately made to the customer to drop in whenever he or she would come to that part of the city. This innovation helps the customer stay tuned to the same seller. Word of mouth publicity makes the business grow as well.
Seeking to become game changers in particular markets These are the disruptive innovators in every business. The aforesaid example of ID, the big brand of idli or dosa batter, is a typical example of a game changer. Entrepreneurs who seek to become game changers in their particular markets are always very successful. The Phoenix mall in Chennai is one example. This mall in South Chennai is maintained very well. The multiplexes are maintained very well. The ultimate shopping experience offers the young IT crowd an excuse to hang around for three or four hours in air-conditioned comfort. There are other shopping malls but Phoenix mall is unique in terms of being a game changer.
Conclusion The Art of Entrepreneurship has many dimensions. Only some dimensions, as observed in practice have been discussed above. The scope for learning for any entrepreneur is very high in most cases. The learning is specific to the business and the experiences of entrepreneurs in running their businesses.
Everyone cannot become an entrepreneur. It requires constant pondering and searching for innovative ideas and convert them in practical life which can attract the attention of the people who are the prospective consumers. Even small ideas click and are converted into big businesses. Another important factor to be noted is that there is a saying that the early bird catches the worm. So, any innovation should be timely and first of its kind. Once it is successful, so many people will copy it and will start their business and will try to compete. Then the real challenge comes for the innovator to sustain his business. He has to devise new updates and additions to his product or service to out stand in the crowd and that is the crucial part of entrepreneurship.